BRITISH: PM Theresa May Braces For Second Scottish Independence Referendum Demand Over Brexit

The Times Of London reports:

Theresa May is preparing for the Scottish government to call a second independence referendum to coincide with the triggering of Article 50 next month. Senior government sources say there is serious concern that Nicola Sturgeon will use the start of the Brexit process to demand another vote on the future of the UK and that Whitehall is planning for that event.

The prime minister could reject the demand, but such a move would risk causing a constitutional crisis. If she agreed, ministers have been warned, she would risk the break-up of the United Kingdom on a “coin toss”.

Mrs May has also been told that she faces a double-headed “devolution crisis” next month, with Stormont elections on Friday unlikely to resolve Northern Ireland’s political turmoil. Concerns about Scotland and Northern Ireland were discussed last Tuesday by the cabinet.

More from Reuters:

The threat of a new Scottish independence referendum is creating unnecessary uncertainty and division, a government spokesman said on Monday, responding to media reports that Scottish nationalists were preparing to demand one.

“The question is not whether there could be a second referendum, it is whether there should be one – and the clear answer to that is no,” the spokesman said. “The decision to remain in the UK was made by the Scottish people in 2014 and all the evidence at the moment shows people in Scotland don’t want another referendum. “The threat of one is creating unnecessary uncertainty and division.”

And from The Scotsman

The value of the sterling fell yesterday following claims the SNP could call a second vote on Scottish independence imminently. The devaluing the pound came just days after the Royal Back of Scotland issued a stark warning that Indyref2 could “adversely” affect its operations.

Ipez Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at LCG Insight, told a Scottish newspaper: “The Scottish concerns are, in fact, nothing new. The UK’s decision to quit the European Union had immediately triggered questions regarding Scotland’s future in the United Kingdom. However, the eventuality hasn’t been largely factored in the pound’s value so far.

“If Scotland decides to proceed with the second referendum to quit the UK, there would certainly be another fundamental downshift in the pound’s value, both against the US dollar and the euro.

    • stuckinthewoods

      great picture.
      with a name like yours I hope you also will acknowledge the upcoming anniversary of the Bowling Green tragedy on Feb 30. I usually wear a kufi and crocheted myself one in solidarity.


        Thankyou for not remembering. I was sad to see the photo of Kellyanne Conway on the Oval office couch recently. It seemed to show that she lost her legs and dignity in the Bowling Green Massacre. Alternative thoughts and prayers to everyone unaffected.

      • Silver Badger

        Are you sure it wasn’t February 31st?

        • stuckinthewoods

          I know some do dysmember it on the 31st. But we all weep for those bowled over by ten pins of mass destruction.

      • Acronym Jim

        I’m confused, is that a cap or a pair of underwear that allows freedom of movement?

  • Do Something Nice

    Regarding the pound, because of it’s fall, Microsoft raised prices in the UK by more than 11%, Apple about 25% and other have raised prices too.

    • Dazzer

      Food prices are already beginning to rise in the UK – and this is before Brexit. The same thing is going to happen to fuel prices – despite overall fuel prices falling globally.

      Most donestic fuel companies in the UK are owned by European companies and they’re all preparing for a ‘Hard Brexit’ and having to work on World Trade organisation tariff pricing rather than single market EU pricing.

      • Ernest Endevor

        When I was in London a few years back I was appalled at how expensive food was. How expensive everything was. I admit it’s a long time since I lived there but an Indian supper that would have cost a fiver was eighty-eight pounds. I just about lost my onion bhaji.

        • Moonbeam_Song

          Visited London over the winter holidays this year and was pleasantly surprised at how much “bang for my buck” that I got in terms of the USD$ versus British pound exchange rate… if that trend continues I can envision a decent amount of uptick in Americans touring Britain…

          • Ernest Endevor

            There is that to it. Liberty’s wallpapers will become affordable again.

          • boatboy_srq

            London is always expensive. If you want to find decent prices, get out of that town as fast as you can. One reason I’m happy Heathrow and Gatwick are well placed for jumping off AWAY from the city.

        • ChrisMorley

          If you paid £88 for an Indian meal that was a really expensive restaurant.
          I live in Manchester in northern England and the district of Rusholme within a couple of miles of the city centre is famous for its Curry Mile.
          If you tried hard it would be possible to find a meal there costing about £20 if you wanted to spend a lot.
          You could get a discount return train ticket from London, travel 200 miles in a few minutes over two hours, dine in Rusholme and still have change from £88.

          • juanjo54

            I was in London both before and after the Brexit vote with a stay with the husband in Manchester in between. Even in London, I never spent 88 pounds on a curry. I loved Manchester and the people there. Good food, good people, and a lot of fun. Manchester reminds me of that aunt who shows up at family events. She has had a bit of a rough time in the past and you are never quite certain how she will behave but you know it is going to be entertaining.

          • Ernest Endevor

            I know Manchester well. Or did at one time when I was doing a mini series for Granada. I’m sure it’s long-since gone but I had happy times in the Armenian with my then intended when we had secret dates. The restaurant in question was in Notting Hill. Very nice but not extravagant. Good vegetarian food and a couple of beers. Don’t forget, as you sit down they place an 8 pound bottle of water on the table. I took family out to eat in Bristol and it cost well over a hundred. But I found everything to be vastly more expensive. Trains are ridiculously expensive even if you do that weird telephone thing to get the discount price. And food in shops is much more expensive than the States. People here have no clue how much cheaper it is to live than in almost any of the European countries.

        • Ben in Oakland

          We were in London last year. Crappy food was a bit pricey, but not horribly so. Good food was very pricey, but pricey was no guarantee of good food. We spent 100 pounds for an indian dinner for our nephew and his fiancé. I’d have to say it was some of the worst indian food I have ever eaten. I would have preferred to eat the $2 a dish stuff form trader joe’s.
          And don’t get me started on “quorn” sausage.

          • Ernest Endevor

            See, you were unlucky. London still has, in my opinion, better Indian and Chinese food than NYC. I had good food there but I have greedy, food obsessed friends. One of them took me shopping down the Portobella Market where there were wonders to be had. Sadly, what with Brexit and banksters, the market is turning into upscale boutiques and the street carts are becoming a thing of the past. Even Harrods no longer maintains its fish hall.

      • Gene

        if the UK splits…and the same dark forces that pushed for Brexit and trump and used Oxford analytics are pushing for it (and Putin will finance, as he is LePen in France, because he LOVES the Idea of Scottish Independence) it will be a disaster for ALL involved, on both sides of Hadrians Wall

      • Robert Pierce

        Wait until the Brexiteers start to book their package holidays with that huge Brexit surcharge being added and we haven’t even left yet.

      • A Brit

        Inflation is still below the Bank of England’s target though? The 0.1% we’ve had for the last few years is pretty much unheard of in recent history.

    • Ernest Endevor

      You know what’s booming because of the falling pound? The movie industry. Producers have been enjoying massive tax subsidies for using SFX houses in London. They’ve been making all those ghastly Harry Potter movies, among others. Think how many English and New Zealand – another government that pays to have film companies produce their CGI EFX in country – accents were on display at the Oscars. And don’t get me started on Canada.

      • Gene

        what was ghastly about the Harry Potter movies?

        • Ernest Endevor


          • Silver Badger

            To each his own. I liked the one or two I watched. Usually though, I’m too busy living my own life to watch other people living made up ones.

        • Acronym Jim

          Voldemort seemed pretty ghastly. But I could be biased against snake-faced dark lords.

        • Strkr

          The only decent one was POA..the rest pretty much sucked…don’t get me started on that Benny Hill travesty of a scene near the end of DH2…

      • JaniceInToronto

        Oh, go on. Tell us about Canada. We want to know.

        • Bluto

          All the Canadians i know smell like pine forest & maple syrup. It’s quite pleasing.

  • Brian

    While I am sure that there are significant downsides to the split for both sides, I’m having a lot of trouble finding any significant amount of sympathy. There seem to be a lot of ignorant people voting on issues they don’t understand based on information that is clearly manipulated. Unfortunately, they are going to get exactly what they deserve and everyone else will be taken along for the ride. The same can be said of the USA.

    • Todd20036

      Yup. Funny, I’ll avoid most of the negative consequences of a Trump administration (assuming there aren’t any concentration camps built) and I still abhor him so much I cannot refer to him as a president.

    • narutomania

      And that, of course, is the great Achilles Heel of any democracy: the education level of its citizenry. I can’t imagine that the effective education level of the average American voter (let alone the average American!!) is quite low. Dare I say … fifth grade? I think that it would make for a very interesting and revealing study.

      The internet has spawned two very dangerous attendant phenomena, namely fake news and instant news. Pair those with the low I.Q. of most people, and you have a dangerous mix.

      I just watched the very excellent, and quite funny, ‘The Fake News Show’. I recommend it highly. One of the comedian “contestants”, Jon Richardson, made the very insightful observation (just as you have here) that people are voting on important public issues without the slightest bit of knowledge of what is really going on or what is really at stake. He goes on to say that it should be okay to excuse such people from the burden and stress of having to vote. They may even be relieved at not being able to vote. (The part that leads to his comments begins at 28:40.)

  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    Whoops ! Seems the gleeful Brexiteers have unleashed unbridled centrifugal forces. Only a matter of time before the pieces of the old UK fly apart. Idiots!

    • ChrisMorley

      A delicious irony is that in Northern Ireland (which voted to Remain in the EU alongside its neighbour the Irish Republic), the Unionists (protestants), named for their resolute determination to remain part of the United Kingdom, are commited to stay in the UK, despite the majority vote in Northern Ireland wanting to stay in the EU. That’s propelling centriputal forces for leaving the UK.
      The nationalists (mainly catholic heritage) in NI are now even more determined to push for Irish reunification as the route to continued EU membership.

      The higher nationalist birthrate means they will soon hold the electoral majority in Northern Ireland.

  • T-Batwoman

    It would be pretty funny if they did break away and join the EU.

    • Reality.Bites

      Well that’s why they want another referendum. They want to be in the EU far more than they want to be in the UK

    • PeterC

      Not “funny”, just realistic.

  • Oh’behr

    I wonder how many future elections Russia might also interfere with as it looks as though they interfered also with Brexit and with ours (USA) …


    UK officials want an investigation to determine if Russian interference helped bring about Brexit.

  • PickyPecker
    • Gene

      sigh….it would be a disaster for the US if they split…a disaster for them (duh) and Scotland would be an independent, but hollow and weak, voice in the world, and a lot poorer if it split.

      the people who have pushed for brexit and for Trump I know seem OVERJOYED with the idea of a split up of the UK….that alone should tell us that split is a bad thing.

      Putin has also said he favors Scottish Independence….THAT says all we need to know, at least to sane people

      • PickyPecker
        • Gene

          oh, I know that it was almost 2 to 1 to remain in the EU for Scotland, England and Wales were VERY close (leave) and NI was (larger, but, not overwhelmingly like in Scotland, for remain). Scotland is an outlier on the EU question in the UK, but, the ties take make up the UK are a lot more and varied than just their continued EU membership.

          and sad to say, but there is a really really big chance that the EU as we know it now wont exist in anything like its current form in 10 to 15 years anyway, and the Euro as a currency…ugly, long term. very ugly.

          There is no pretty, happy ending here, regardless of what happens.

        • PeterC

          Looks like they need “a re-vote.

      • CottonBlimp

        Putin, like Trump, says he supports everything and nothing at the same time. He’s a serial liar who intentionally fosters confusion and misinterpretation among the politically engaged and ignorant alike to take advantage of their confusion. Basing your politics on what he allegedly wants or doesn’t want is a losing strategy.

      • Archie

        Putin is neither an expert on Scotland or on democracy. I think sane people would reject anything he says about either.
        Cameron tried to settle a power struggle within the Conservative party by holding the Brexit vote, but he lost, and in doing so has handed the government of the UK to the far right wing. That means that liberal left voting Scotland now has a government in many respects similar to the Trump regime.
        The 2015 Rainbow Europe Index, was compiled by ILGA-Europe, an international human rights association. According to the findings, Scotland now comes ahead of the rest of the UK and Europe in the legal protections it offers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.
        We could loose that.
        The devolved Scottish Government in Edinburgh is largely responsible for the LGBT supportive legislation that makes Scotland such a good place for people like me to be, but their power is limited because we do not yet have independence. There are many nations smaller and poorer than an independent Scotland would be, and they are not denigrated as ‘Hollow and weak’. We do not wish to strut on the international stage. We are in favour of the wider union with the EU. We want to be a fairer, more inclusive place where refugees can find sanctuary, and were everybody, gay, brown, young and old can realise their full potential.

    • Andymac3

      Wouldn’t the blue be gone in the Union Jack since that relates to Scotland?

      • boatboy_srq

        it sure would. Say hello to Free England under the unadorned Cross of St. George.

  • Tomcat

    Why don’t they just ASK RUSSIA what to do?

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Elections have consequences and the days of the British Empire are long gone. The days of the U.K. are numbered as well.

  • greenmanTN
  • Treant

    Charles in the future: “Hi, I’m the Prince of Wa…er, Upper London.”

    • JCF

      Except it looks like Wales wants to leave the EU, too.

  • BobSF_94117

    Just have a second Brexit referendum and END THIS NONSENSE.

    • Sam_Handwich

      i’ve been wondering how much attitudes there have changed since Putin installed a puppet regime in the US.

    • A Brit

      This exact thing is one reason a load of people were convinced the vote to leave in the first place, Ireland was made to vote twice on two different EU treaties since 2000 when they delivered the “wrong” answer (ie the anti-EU one) the first time.

      • BobSF_94117

        How does one say, “Yeah, right” in English?

        • A Brit

          It did happen in Ireland though and featured in a lot of the leave campaign’s material on why people shouldn’t like the EU or trust its leaders. They don’t take no for an answer. A certain Mr Jean-Claude Juncker once said
          “there can be no democratic choice against the European treaties”

          • BobSF_94117

            Imagine that, voting again after conditions change. How authoritarian those EU bureaucrats are…

          • A Brit

            Don’t just take it from me, many more on the left also see the EU for what it is, authoritarian neoliberalism that is set on destroying European welfare states.

            “Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, cautioned
            against any romantic belief in democracy at the time of the elections
            which swept the anti-austerity party Syriza to power in January 2015:

            ‘To suggest that everything is going to change because there’s a new
            government in Athens is to mistake dreams for reality… There can be no
            democratic choice against the European treaties.’ “

    • Diogenes Onionpants

      The thing is, they don’t even need a second referendum: the vote was advisory and non-binding. Parliament, or rather the Tories, could just decide to do what’s ultimately best for the country, and stay in the trade zone–especially since most of the Leave arguments (like ‘we’ll have scads of extra cash and can put that right into the NHS!’) have already been shown to be total bullshit.

      • BobSF_94117

        Yes, but they’re all such cowards, they’d probably prefer the people decide…

  • BeaverTales

    What would an isolated England and Wales and NI. look like if Great Britain ceases to exist? High costs of living, low amounts of manufacturing, ~70 million people. A nation of shopkeepers and academics can’t survive with closed borders, if poor people can’t easily leave the country to find work.

    The Commonwealth won’t be strong enough to absorb the blow of resurrecting a border at the English Channel and Hadrian’s wall..

    Perhaps they’ll become the next Argentina, with an identical economy to boot. Locked away from Scotland’s North Sea Oil, they’ll only be good for making novelty cheeses and beer for the world. Few places will welcome jobless Brits…what goes around will come around…

    • Edmund Allin

      The population of England & Wales is about 56m.

      Don’t forget the chocolates.

      • BeaverTales

        True. Wikipedia says England=53.01 million, Wales=3.063 million , NI=1.811 million


        Scotland=5.295 million

        I mysteriously added 7M people…but seems like a reasonable estimate of non citizen residents (Commonwealth and Established Europeans)?

        • Edmund Allin

          Oh, sorry, my mind was on another post about NI attaching itself to Eire. 59m it is. (I assume the Scots are out of the equation?)

          That includes c.3mn temporary and permanent residents (of which one quarter are students) and c.5mn British citizens born abroad or naturalised. It does not include British citizens living abroad, which I’d guess to be about 5mn, with over half living (in order) in Australia, Spain, the US, and Canada.

          So, if you were to strip all the immigrants and those living abroad, the population would be 56mn. If you added the British diaspora and the immigrants to the UK, it would be 64mn.

          All very complicated!

          • BeaverTales

            Table 1.3 of the 2015 table you linked to suggests the number of foreigners who permanently reside in Britain is not exactly out of line with the demographics of the state I’ve spent most of my life in.. Pardon the long post, because I want to explain the potential parallels I’m most familiar with.

            Britain (~65M) has almost 60% more people than California does (officially ~39M). Britain has 80,823 mi² to Minnesota’s 79,610.08 mi² .

            I’ve been to Minnesota, which has some terrain resembling Britain, but It’s a lot smaller than California(155,959.34 mi²). California is the US state that I grew up in. I lived in California when it was mostly native born white, and I have to assume the British Isles are demographically whiter than California. 1990s California seems like a fairly good match for Britain in terms of demographic diversity and industrial capacity. California currently has ~10M legal foreign born immigrants to Britain’s ~8M legal foreign born immigrants for a country 160% of our population..

            White people are not in any danger of going extinct in California, despite the claims of a few KKK whackos in the Inland Empire. The English language, asset wealth and cultural integrity is in no danger in California either.

            California would shut down without Immigrants, even though our population density and industrial capacity are similarly distributed as England, if you compare London’s economic output to Los Angeles’ and San Francisco’s to Glasgow or Birmingham, it seems that there are certainly many not unreasonable parallels to Britain’s and California’s economies….we have a similar number of good universities and tech corridors.

            California is a place that has always valued the “right kind of Immigrants”. Immigration levels to California are higher than any other state. It’s arguably an economy the size of France’s….

            California recently had an economic crisis that they are just recovering from… Maybe Britain will be more like California during the Great Recession that we went into despite similarly restrictive immigration avenues?

            The collective educational levels have skyrocketed in the tech age, despite the cost of living. Quality of life there is starting to suck because the most poorly educated in California tend to be the most like English Brexiters….

            I left California decades ago, but I yearly visit each one of its 5 largest population centers because of both family and business ties (LA, SD, SF Bay, Sacto, OC, all which presumably have comparable economies to Britain’s 5 largest cities). I now have an ex-pat perspective different from most other native Californians. I wasn’t afraid to leave my home state or even learn new languages like French or Spanish. I imagine most Britons have a stronger attachment to the land of their birth than we Californians do.

            The demographic changes California has seen over the last 50 years aren’t nearly as scary as Brexiters posit. Their argument sounds more Nativist than Economic. Perhaps entirely so….

            Native Californians, like most Britons, tend to live around the places they were born, even though we don’t have to learn a new language if we leave California and legally work in the other 49 states.

            It makes me worry about California’s political pendulum in the next 4 years? A scary thought indeed.

          • Edmund Allin

            California is fairly mixed. Looking at data from Wikipedia, 42% are white, 38% are hispanic, 15% are asian. By contrast, the UK is 87% white, 7% asian (largely from the Indian subcontinent) and 3% black (Afro-Caribbean).

            California is also slightly more of a melting pot (mainly because there is no majority “race”), with, apparently 1 in 7 marriages being mixed race, while the ratio in the UK is 1 in 11. The trend in both places is for more mixing.



          • BeaverTales

            French GDP was $2.5 trillion € in 2015
            California’s GDP was 2.448 trillion USD in 2015
            German GDP was 3,025 trillion € the same year.
            Great Britain’s GDP in 2015 was $2.761 trillion £., just a hair above California or France…

            California is also 7% “black-African American”, which happens to be my ethnic group. So that may be why my perception of Brexit is less an socioeconomic phenomenon and more of a sociopolitical, racial or nationalist one.

            What do you think? and why? I’m truly mystified that Britain sees itself as a closed society almost 20 years into the millennium and EU. From this side of the pond, there was no logical argument for Brexit that holds water that I’ve seen..

            Clearly racial diversity and immigration isn’t dooming Britain to third world status. Far from it. The only economy in Europe stronger than Britain is Germany…which is >90% white and has long welcomed immigrants.

            If California is nearly 3 times as brown as Britain or France, and matches them favorably on every metric of business, academic, financial and cultural success, I wonder why Europe suddenly became the enemy? By American standards, you barely have immigrants at all. Is this Racism?

          • Edmund Allin

            Britain has always been insular (except when it liked to lord over its overseas possessions). Racist? I’d like to think less so than many, but certainly not the most welcoming. Also snobbery. I’ve met people who scoffed at those with Norman surnames.

            Brexit is moronic, of course. Lies fed and digested, mainly to do with (fantasy) money being sent to Brussels and (fantasy) jobs being taken away by EU immigrants.

            (Germany is welcoming of workers, not immigrants. Used to be impossible to get citizenship.)

          • BeaverTales

            I appreciate your perspective. I think there is another motivation for anti-globalist sentiment that is uncomfortable to discuss here in America, and likely Britain as well. The economic scapegoating has gotten worse after a period of getting much better.

            I don’t know many Brits personally (almost none), but I certainly know a lot of Americans…there is a sense of unearned entitlement here (often racial, often income-driven and generational) based on perceived citizenship more than perceived work ethic that drives Trump’s popularity..

    • Gay Fordham Prep Grad

      Their beer is not that good.

    • Hue-Man

      Yet they’re deluded in believing that they will be able to maintain the City of London as a world financial center, even after leaving the EU. The failure of the merger agreement of the Deutsche Börse and the London Stock Exchange is a sign that Brexit will move financial jobs out of London and probably to Frankfurt.

    • Speaking of Argentina you know what is interesting? In 1950, Argentina and South Korea were basically the same size population wise — 20 million people. Argentina was one of the wealthiest nations in the world resource wise — governed by the Perons, but an agricultural exporter, undamaged by WW2, full of resources, and quite wealthy. South Korea was a war torn dirt poor relatively resource poor still at war economic basket case. Few would guess that in only two generations, Argentina would turn into an economic backwater, with little economic progress, and South Korea would emerge as a economic and technological giant of 50 million people and high standard of living.

      • J Ascher

        That’s geopolitics for you! South Korea had its share of authoritarian and military regimes until the student protests of the 70s.

        I’ll write more when I’m at my computer.

    • ChrisMorley


      Scotland North Sea oil revenues collapse by nearly 100% to re-ignite independence debate
      Scotland’s public sector spends £12,800 per person, but collects just £10,000 per person

      NB There’s not much ‘Scottish oil’ left.

  • Boreal

    Do it Scotland and stay in the EU.

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    Not only that (Scotland), but the Irish PM has said that he wants an “Irish reunification” clause built into the Brexit negotiations, and Juncker has backed this idea.

    • ChrisMorley

      That would get messy.
      The population in Northern Ireland is divided by religion on their attitudes to the EU.
      The protestants (mainly supporting political parties with Unionist in their names) want to remain in the UK.
      The nationalists (mainly catholic heritage) want the EU and would mainly vote for reunification with the Irish Republic.
      But we mustn’t forget history. There was a civil war for Irish Independence in the early 20th century which ended in 1921 with the division of the island into what is now the Irish Republic and the bit of the UK that is Northern Ireland.
      There were then decades of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland involving paramilitaries of both communities, which have not long ended. The peace is quite fragile.
      The Unionists would not go quietly into any Irish reunification in the forseeable future.

  • William

    Ireland and Northern Ireland are overdue for a shotgun wedding.

    • Dazzer

      I’m not sure that’s going to happen any time soon. The republic of Ireland’s economy would be utterly wrecked if it had to take on the basket case of the Northern Irish economy.

      • William

        If they don’t unite, there will have to be a full border built.

        • There is not going to be a border. There is not one now, and the U.K. is not in the Schengen area. Both nations are committed to not establishing a border.

          • coram nobis

            Yes, although there’s still the question of transborder goods, and the fact that Ireland is in the Euro zone.

          • This is OT but I found out I was part Southern Irish by doing one of those DNA tests — anywhere from 12 -16% two years ago. They guessed the rest of me correctly (ashkenazi jewish, and hooked me up with some third and fourth cousins quite effectively, including some on the Harvard and U. of Montana faculty) — but I had no idea I had this Irish part of me. I think its very cool, it may explain my pale skin and love for st. pattys day and green eyes on my Mom’s side of the family (who denied that it its her side since all the matriarchal female ancestors were quite orthodox). Well, someone must have had some fun somewhere!

          • ChrisMorley
          • William

            The Common Travel Area will be a mess if Brexit happens. The EU can’t allow a non-EU country to admit people onto their territory.

      • Gene

        the republic is already experiencing outward migration due to the weakness of its job market, and its economy is largely kept afloat as a tax have (ala Apple, etc)…its in no position to handle it, you are correct.

        Not to mention that Dublin is not entirely enraptured with the idea of suddenly having a great many people as citizens who absolutely fucking hate the republic, and what that would do to their political balances in their Parliament.

      • Northern Ireland has a lower unemployment rate at present than the Irish Republic (I checked — its 5.5% vs. 7.7%). Ireland makes more per capita, particularly since the crash of the Pound due to Brexit, but the Northern Irish economy is far from a basket case.

    • Ireland is already united!! Under the Good Friday agreement, all of Ireland meets on key issues and agrees om common economic progress. No physical border exists — and both the Pound and Euro are pretty much accepted as common currencies in all parts of Ireland where they need to be. The people of Ireland want no part of the troubles of the past, and Ulster (Northern Ireland) maintains the right to integrate with the South (Irish Republic) if they wish. There is already an identity for a United Ireland in international rugby competition (let’s face it, sports count for many way more than politics) where Ireland fields one team, and an anthem exists — Ireland’s Call, for the entire island– all 4 provinces including Ulster, represented by the Orange in the Irish flag —- take a look at this video if you want to see true emotion and patriotism not dependent on an artificial boundary.

      • ChrisMorley

        The flaw in this rational view of Irish Unity is that the protestants of Northern Ireland, who vote for political parties with Unionist in their names, want no part in Irish reunification. Their entire heritage is about Union with Great Britain.
        The Democratic Unionist Party has just been exposed as spending over a quarter of a million pounds on advertising that promoted Brexit.
        Their leader refuses to attend matches where the united Ireland rugby team plays.
        The peace is fragile after decades of “Troubles” and Unionists won’t accept Irish reunification quietly.

  • Halou

    At least Britain’s billionaires get to run away with the loot they are sure to grab once the European Union regulations are demolished, that’s all that matters in Conservative land. To hell with development, to hell with growth, to hell with healthcare, to hell with civil liberties, to hell with the whole of western principles. Some super rich arseholes want even more money.

    • Earl

      Think of how much they’ll enjoy eating their gold. /s

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    How about Scotland, non-federal D.C. and California bonding together to form a new union?

    • ChrisMorley

      They would each need to gain the power to act autonomously.

    • I’m trying to think of a national dish everyone can enjoy. How about mock vegetarian haggis stuffed with Scottish oatmeal and avocado and some mini Chesapeake bay crab cakes and Whisky Flambe sauce as a national dish? Either that, or Californians will just have to get used to deep fried Mars bars, the true national food of Scotland. — DC Residents I am sure can deal with it.

      • Halou

        My brother lives in Scotland and he told me a story of a group of drunk people going to one of these deep-fry places, they were all getting their mars bars when one of them dared another to get their phone deep-fried. And this person was drunk enough to actually do it.

      • Johnny Wyeknot

        I think you’re on to something! And I like your priorities! Maybe Washington’s great philanthropist Jacqueline Mars can get involved!

  • beariac

    This worries me greatly. I’m no expert, but I get the feeling that if push came to shove, Scotland would prefer to be in the EU rather than the UK, and fair play to them. It would be a nightmare logistically, perhaps worse than Brexit.

    I have not been able to figure out (perhaps someone might explain?) why the leave referendum didn’t have some clause that stipulated a majority of the COUNTRIES in the UK had to agree as well as a majority of the overall votes. I would also hope that if it were a choice of losing Scotland or remaining in the EU, a majority of voters would prefer to stay with the EU and the Scots. Could something like this be grounds for a new referendum? One can only hope.

    All that said, and without wanting to be flippant about a matter of such great import, for those who’ve not seen it recently, Tracey Ullman’s Show has been killing it with her Nicola Sturgeon impressions recently.
    NB The hunky door guards as she enters the bunker.

    • Earl

      They’re not countries, haven’t been since the Act of Union. Whenever that was, 🙂

      If Scotland leaves, then they’ll be countries again.

      • Hue-Man


        The United Kingdom (UK) comprises four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

        • ChrisMorley

          That’s not technically correct.
          England and Scotland are countries, joined by the Acts of Union, 1707.

          Ireland (the whole island) was a country that was joined to England and Scotland by the Acts of Union in 1800. The majority of the Irish population disagreed profoundly. There was an Irish War of Independence. The Irish Free State was established in 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921. It reconstituted itself as the Republic of Ireland in 1948.

          Northern Ireland was hived off because the protestant majority there insisted on remaining in the UK.
          Northern Ireland is a Province of the UK.

          Wales lost its independence in medieval times and is known as a Principality.

      • beariac

        Ahh, I see. (simples, not!) Thank you. I was educated in Australia so there’s a lot here I still don’t get; it’s so much more complimicated.

    • ChrisMorley

      In the UK almost all Bills are government Bills, written by the government. They have a majority in Parliament and even if Scottish / Welsh / Northern Irish members had tried to amend the bill to allow for diiferent outcomes in the different parts of the UK, those would have been defeated by the government’s majority.
      Additionally the UK as a whole is a member of the EU, and there is no provision in EU membership rules for only one part of a country to quit the EU while the rest of it remains a member/s.
      Only the Westminster Parliament of the UK can authorise a Referendum for Scotland to leave the UK. It is not a “devolved matter” Scotland can decide for itself.
      If a Scottish Referendum is held and if Scotland then votes to leave the UK, Scotland will then have to apply to join the EU. That usually takes years to negotiate, and EU rules would require Scotland to join the Euro currency. That carries significant economic risks.

    • A Brit

      “I have not been able to figure out (perhaps someone might explain?) why
      the leave referendum didn’t have some clause that stipulated a majority
      of the COUNTRIES in the UK had to agree as well as a majority of the
      overall votes”

      Constitutionally the countries have absolutely no meaning in the UK, parliament could in theory abolish Scotland (or England for that matter) as an administrative unit whenever it liked.

      • beariac

        I learn so much here, thanks! I grew up in a Commonwealth of Federated States (I think it’d be called) – Australia, so that is my reference point politically speaking. These days it seems all I know is that I don’t like where the world is at the moment, and even less where it is going.

  • William
  • Earl

    Divide and rule; it worked for them for centuries, now it’s working against them.

  • Derrick Johns

    Theresa May. Everytime I hear/read her name I think of some relative from Georgia or Florida. Here comes Aunt Theresa May…and she’s all dressed in red.

    • ChrisMorley

      In the UK political colours are the reverse of the US. So Conservatives are Blue.
      See Teresa’s colour in the Düsseldorf float.

  • boatboy_srq

    “unnecessary uncertainty and division”

    As opposed to the absolutely necessary uncertainty and division caused by the near-exclusively English collective decision to give the EU the finger.

    • ChrisMorley

      London and most of the larger English cities voted to Remain.

      • boatboy_srq

        Leave votes were overwhelmingly English (rural/small-town English, but still). London and Manchester don’t get a pass for Stoke-on-Trent or Chipping Camden or Scarborough.

        • ChrisMorley

          I know; it’s sad that PM David Cameron only promised a referendum to prevent the Conservative Party fracturing and its voters abandoning it for UKIP. He ignored the risks to the whole UK for his political party’s advantage and it all blew up in his face.
          Now we’ve all got to live with the consequences of his foolhardiness.

          • Robert Pierce

            Not only was the referendum unnecessary but Cameron just like May put party first and in his recklessness didn’t think about using a threshold because he foolishly couldn’t conceive that Leave would ever win. We wouldn’t be leaving if he’d done that.

          • boatboy_srq

            And unlike Thatcher, Cameron didn’t have a convenient Falklands crisis to distract people.

          • A Brit

            What was the alternative? UKIP was tripling its vote every election. At the rate they were going we’d have gotten a UKIP majority eventually. And I’m sure that’s something we really don’t need.

  • juanjo54

    If the Scots vote to leave the UK, the amusing issue will be who get custody of all that oil off their coast.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Well, if Britain can leave the EU, so too can Scotland leave the UK. Sauce for the goose and all that.

    BREXIT is literal manifestation of the adage: Be careful what you wish for, much like Trump in the U.S.

    • Halou

      Scotland warned this would happen before the Brexit referendum. It’s our own fault.

  • A Brit

    The SNP aren’t stupid, polling still puts No ahead, what they’ll do is agitate to keep their base happy and never actually have it because losing again would end them.

  • JCF

    Me thinks Mrs May is going to spend her entire term turd-polishing. “Makes the heart sad” (not).